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My first SKS

4297 Views 16 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  amadeus77
I picked up my first SKS at a show over the weekend. The bore looks to be in fairly good shape, and it fired well at the range. The stock is very banged up and has alot of carving in it: somebody's scratched in their name (Ahmet), and a handcarved "Fleur-de-Lis" symbol, with four letters surrounding it (not all the letters are identifiable).

I was told this SKS was a Yugo. It has a bayonet, grenade launcher & sight, and a flashhider/muzzle brake?

This is about the extent of what I know about it. I can't tell for sure if it's Yugo or not, the only identification on the metal parts are matching numbers on the receiver cover, bolt, trigger housing, stock and barrel. It also says 59/66 7.62x39 on the barrel. (I'm not 100% positive of the 59, I'm at work now, and going from memory).

I was wondering if anybody out there can help me with a few questions. First, how can I tell if this gun is pre-ban or not? I want to know if it's legal for me to remove the 10-round integral mag and use 30-round detachable ones.

Even if it's post-ban, would removing the bayonet/grenade launcher and flash hider make it legal for me to use the 30-rounders? The only reason I bought this gun is its low cost, and the low cost of 7.62s. I'm going to use this for target practice, and have no need to bayonet or grenade anybody.

I'm also not very fond of the beat-up stock, though I do wonder if the "Fleur-de-Lis" means anything. I plan on changing it, but I haven't found anything besides folding synthetics. Anyone know where to find a new wood one? Would a folding synthetic make it illegal to use 30-round mags?

I am aware of the "evil features" list, but don't know exactly how it works, or how it applies to what I want to do. Is there a definitive listing somewhere? I tried sifting through the site, but couldn't find anything.

Sorry for so many questions in one message, I'm just excited about this gun, and don't want to get myself into trouble.
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The symbol on your stock is found on many M48 Mauser sniper rifles. I saw a post a long time ago that had the same exact symbol. I might be mistaken but I think that symbol stands for a pro - Yugo paramilitary group. I know that the M48 Mausers with them represented that they were indeed sniper rifles for the Bosnians. As I said, I might be not 100% right on this. I personally wouldnt change the stock. It is part of that rifles history and it gives it a lot of character. If you were to change it to a wood stock, go on ebay.
Itcboy is right. My own Yugo has a shield carved in the buttstock, another paramilitary symbol. My rifle presumably belonged to "Mila". One owner - only dropped once during retreat? All Yugo SKS's are "post-ban", as this is based on when it was imported, not produced. All are very recent imports.
Checkout for the full story on the SKS rifle.
The grenade launcher and the designation 59/66 distinguish it as a Yugo for sure. And as far as converting it goes, it isn't even the date of import that affects it's legality for conversion, it's when it was converted, which means it's illegal to do now. The tricky part is which ban. There's the '94 Crime Bill, which affects all semi-auto rifles with detachable mag, pistols, and shotguns. Then there's the prejudicial import ban, which is stricter, but only applies to guns with a certain number of imported parts on a certain list. If you want to modify an imported gun in a manner that complies with the '94 ban and get around the import ban, you have to replace a certain number of parts with US made ones.
Ask for more info if you want to do this. This includes use of detachable mag.

As far as aftermarket stocks, ATI, Butler Creek, Choate, and Ramline all make traditional or Monte Carlo stocks for the SKS, and there's no legal problem at all (and the stock would count as a US part if you want to get around the import ban on other things). A trickier issue, sometimes involving state laws, is the ATI Fiberforce or Choate Dragunov style stocks, which essentially have a pistol grip that is connected at the bottom. They DO NOT count as pistol grips under the '94 ban, but some state laws and maybe new sections of the import ban have something stupid to say about it.

For stock sources, check the link to Tapco from this site. They have options, and offer fair prices.
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Winchester, I wouldn't install a 30-round mag on it. They are nice, but are a trade-off on reliability. They don't always function. I would leave the 10-rounder in, as they are designed to work with the rifle.
As far as stocks go, there's only one synthetic that will allow you to retain the bayonet. Most Yugo SKS's have the bayonet retaining screw staked in place, and they can be a pain to remove. The folding stocks allow you to retain them, but you have to make sure you get the one that accepts a blade bayonet if you decise to go that route. The ones for the spike bayonet won't work, as the channel for it is too shallow and the blade will stick out farther than you'd want.
The 59/66 designation means it was accepted for use in 1959 and was modified with the grenade launcher in 1966.]
As ltcboy said, I wouldn't change the stock. If you want to, you can clean it up a little to save the markings. Refinishing is an option, but will decrease the value. If you would want to, take off the original wood and store it. I bought one of the red fiberglass stocks for $10 and used it on one of mine. Had it refinished by Mac's Shootin' Iron for about $35, and it looks/works great. Check out
Good luck with it and have fun. :)
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One thing about changing stocks - Yugos are different from other SKS's. Much work has to be dine to alter the stock to fit, as the action inletting is different. Checkout - he gives a good explanation as to what has to be done.
BattleRifleG3, I've read up a little bit about this since my first post, especially what I found at the simonov website. I'm still really confused, but it looks like if I want to modify an SKS so I can legally use detachable mags, I shouldn't have started with a Yugo. Does this sound about right?

Replacing all the parts with US-made components seems like it'd be more trouble than it's worth - also a little expensive. Anybody have any experience doing this?

Would it be legal to replace the 10-round attached clip with a 20-round attached clip? Would going to a folding stock that accepts the blade bayonet (as Calvin mentioned) be okay with all the other "evil features" as long as the clip was still attached?

For the purists out there: Don't worry. Even though I only paid $140 for it, I still respect the gun and its history. I won't pitch the beat-up stock, and I won't try removing the bayonet lug/grenade launcher combo if it would risk damaging it. I don't like doing anything to a gun can't be un-done. I still have the original synthetic stock for my stainless 10/22, even though I replaced it with a wood one.
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Winchester, I'd leave it as is. If you want another to modify, buy a Chinese as they are still out there in force, albeit at a higher price.
Yugo's aren't the best choice to spiff-up. Next to the Model 59 SKS, the 59/66 is the next rarest model. They are cheap now (as were the Chinese at one time), but will go up in price (as the Chinese now are).
The only clips that are allowed to hold more than 10 rounds are tubular magazines for .22's only. Putting on a 20-round non-detachable magazine still violates Federal law, as the Yugo SKS's were imported after the AWB of '94. As long as you had the weapon before February of '94, it's okay to do that modification. After the ban took place, those mods are illegal.
Save the Yugo. There is an SKS out there that will come your way that will fit the bill better. JMHO. :)
If the magazine existed before 94, you can use it in the gun. I don't think there's anything legally wrong with attaching a 20 round Chinese fixed mag to a Yugo SKS, in fact I read a BATF letter saying it was fine (that was in '98, I think, before Clinton banned import of guns able to take double stac mags). Only thing to consider is if it will fit and function correctly. It might take some engineering.
As far as Americanizing the Yugo, yes it is more difficult, but I think it can be done. Tapco has a US made Yugo gas tube, maybe you could ask if an American piston will fit. Here's what I concluded would be the best way to Americanize an SKS. Here's the parts list and what would be done with each. The law says 10 or less imported parts, not 10 or more American, so if the part didn't exist in the first place, you don't have to replace another.

1. Barrel
2. Receiver
3. Trunion (nonexistent on SKS)
4. Gas piston (US made replacement from Tapco)
5. Operating Rod
6. Barrel Extension (Not on SKS)
7. Barrel Attachment (Grenade launcher would need to be removed)
8. Bolt
9. Bolt Carrier
10. Pistol grip (Not on SKS)
11. Handguard/forearm (comes with US gas tube)
12. Buttstock (Use a US synthetic)
13. Disconnector
14. Sear
15. Hammer
16. Trigger Housing
17. Trigger
18. Mag Body (Detachable mags are US made)
19. Mag follower (US)
20. Mag floorplate (US)

True, all of this could be more easily done on a Norinco SKS. The Yugo would just require some more innovation.
Of course, most people here advocate sticking to the 10 round fixed mag.
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Your best bet is to use it as is.If you really want to do a bit of modifying you should trade it in on a Norinco and then you can do pretty much what ever you want,especially if you can get a model "d" which will be dated 93 and can have all the mods and be grandfathered in,especially if you can get a receipt saying it had two or more bad things on it.

:nod: :nod: :nod: :D :D :D

Where are you going with this? Its a cheap $140.00 rifle. Shoot the pi ss out of it the way it is. Have fun with it, blow off 10,000 rounds thru it. Then get a Russian.
I could probably explain the meaning of the carvings of the symbols on the Yugo SKS stocks if I could see the picture. It would be interesting for everyone to see it it too.
What do you think?

Pic of carving on stock. You can also see the first part of Ahmet's name.


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That was the same symbol that was on an M-48 Yugo Mauser. As I stated, I believe it signifies that it belong to a paramilitary pro-Yugo military unit and could have very well been in a sniper's hands. By all means, DONT get rid of that stock. Someday that is going to be worth a lot of money because of the history behing it.

That symbol is called Ljiljan (or Lilac in English(not sure of the spelling) the flower) which is part of the shield that is symbol of Bosnia. This means symbol was on the Bosnian flag until NATO came up with "better" flag. The flag was white with blue shield and gold lilacs in the shield. Bosnian flag now is blue and yellow with yellow stars spread diagonally.
Anyway this gun belonged to the member of Bosnian Army. The name Ahmet is also Bosnian Muslim name. So this gun did not really belong to the Pro-Yugo paramilitary organization but to Bosnian army. One is for sure it will be worth something hystorically so try to keep it one way or another.
Bosnians, Yugos, there all the same thing.
Not really. I am sure you can find information on the people from that region if you are interested.
If you are talking about guns then you are right, they are all made by factory called "Crvena Zastava" or in English "Red Flag" which was based in Serbia near Belgrade. This is the same factory that made YUGO the car.
This particular gun with that logo belonged to guy named Ahmet who was in Bosnian Army.
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